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- White Denim »
With just one release to their name, the stateside-only_ Let’s Talk About It _EP (RCRD LBL have recently posted new tracks as well), *White Denim *have generated a considerable level of (manageable) buzz over the past year with favourable appearances at South by Southwest and CMJ slotting them neatly into the category of Ones to Watch. It’s a growing swell of ever increasing praise (and hype) then, that sees the band and their take on neo-soul garage punk riding into the UK for a four-night stint around the capital.
They may not be the big headliners this evening, but all eyes are glued to the Austin threesome as they make their way onto the stage in the retro chic environs of London’s Bloomsbury Bowl. Cranking things up to ear-splitting levels, the word explosive comes to mind before White Denim let the proverbial hellfire loose on the audience with a noise that may best represent the sound of James Brown, The MC5 and the brash spirit of ‘77 crashing headlong into a three-way pile-up.
It doesn’t take long for frontman James Petralli to start dripping with sweat as he steps into the role of a cranked-up Texan soul man during ‘I Can Tell You’. Elsewhere, ‘Darkside Computer’ and the thrashing brilliance of _‘Let’s Talk About It’ _underline the point that the group are a prime power trio – with a stress on the power – who embody the kind of balls-to-wall, straight-from-the-gut rock that’s rarely embraced among our current skinny jeans and fringe set. Nothing of what they play resembles the latest in dissertation rock. Nor do we get the basic meat and potatoes favoured by certain mono-browed traditionalists. Instead, we’re blasted with a set that looks to the early fury found in a Jerry Lee Lewis and all his rebel descendents for its inspiration. It’s the kind of anything goes, live or die in the moment approach that’s sorely lacking in our career minded climate.
They may not go any farther than this. They may play other gigs where they fail to connect in the same way (as seen at the Barfly the next night). But tonight, for just tonight, White Denim do right… even though our ears ring painfully into the next day.
Photo: Rachel Lipsitz
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